IHG Group, the parent of InterContinental Hotels and other famous brands in Latin America, is moving aggressively to meet burgeoning demand in the region, especially in mid-scale hotels for underserved cities, said Kirk Kinsell, president of IHG for the Americas.
"Hotels in the past were flail-service, luxury properties located in a central city," said Kinsell, who has worked for IHG for 16 years and took over the Americas presidency in 2011. "Today we are building more select--or limited--service hotels located in big dries and other parts of these countries."
In other words, IHG continues to expand its portfolio of large, full-service hotels and spas in major cities. But it's making a big push to add service hotels like the Holiday Inn and Staybridge Suites brands in provincial cities with strong growth potential.
Kinsell attributed the uptick in demand in part to a growing middle class that is acquiring the means to travel more often. Demand is especially strong in Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Peru. He also said the company was training new employees to offer the best hospitality experience, and working with new private sector investors under management and...